Gov’t anticipates signing of Corentyne River Bridge by October

— bridge design, feasibility study at final stage

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill has announced that the contract for the Corentyne River Bridge, linking Guyana to Suriname, is expected to be signed by October.

This announcement was made during the Second High-Level Decision Makers (HLDM) meeting and presentation by WSP Caribbean, a Trinidad-based company, in the presence of Suriname’s Public Works Minister Dr. Riad Nurmohamed on Wednesday.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill alongside Suriname’s Public Works Minister Dr. Riad Nurmohamed, members of WSP and engineers

The meeting marked the final phase of the design and feasibility studies for the bridge.

Minister Edghill expressed gratitude for the flexibility provided by the consultancy, allowing prequalified firms to access information before the final report was released.

The prequalified firms are expected to submit their bids by the end of July, with the closing date set for August 1.

The evaluation process will involve local evaluations as well as a joint evaluation conducted by Guyana and Suriname. Once the evaluation is completed, the preferred contractor will be engaged.

“We intend to have a contract signed by October of 2023 and then we can go into mobilisation and actual construction. This is a project that should not suffer any delays, as a matter of a fact we need to be moving it along. And that is one of the reasons why we provided information ahead of the final report to get things moving so that we can get submissions at this time,” Minister Edghill stated.

Dr. Nurmohamed also expressed satisfaction with the progress made thus far and emphasised the significance of the bridge for the development of both countries.

He noted that, “Building the bridge is very high on the agenda for both countries…from our side, we will continue our work based on what studies have said.”

The Corentyne River Bridge will be constructed through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, following the Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain (DBFOM) model. Under this model, the successful contractor or joint venture will be responsible for the final design, construction, financing, operation, and maintenance of the bridge.

In May 2022, the consultancy assignment for the Feasibility Study and Detailed Designs for the Construction of a Bridge over the Corentyne River was awarded to WSP Caribbean, amounting to US$2 million.

The assignment included various works such as topographic assessment, hydraulic and hydrographic studies, traffic demand analysis, financial and economic evaluation, environmental assessment, and the preliminary design of the bridge and roads.

The bridge will span approximately 1,100 metres in length with 22 spans measuring 50 metres each. The sub-structure will be designed to withstand minor vessel impact. The carriageway is expected to span around 10.05 metres, accommodating two lanes under regular conditions and three lanes during emergencies or controlled situations.

Additionally, the bridge will feature utilities inside the box girder, which will include an inspection path width of 260 metres, among other features.

The infrastructure project holds immense potential for fostering economic growth, strengthening regional integration, and improving transportation links between the two neighbouring nations.

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